Critics pooh-poohed water scheme however ex-mayor says sewage is answer

Regardless of the political backlash, Ms Thorley mentioned she had no regrets and her place on recycled water had not modified.

“[It’s the] elephant within the room that nobody desires to speak about as a result of they’ll lose the election,” she mentioned.

“And nonetheless no one desires to speak about it.

“That is the best way now we have to go and I do know all people thinks it [water] has to return out of the sky however no one desires to take note of the depreciating graph of rainfall.”

Ms Thorley mentioned: “it’s simply time that they hit that go button”.

“The vast majority of the general public, in the event that they’re not put into some kind of concern marketing campaign, just about have a whole lot of commonsense,” she mentioned.

Recycled water is highly-treated wastewater that has been cleaned and disinfected by way of the sewage remedy course of.

Underneath the SEQ Drought Response Plan, Seqwater should contemplate a full restart of the partially-mothballed $2.6 billion Western Hall Recycled Water Scheme when the water grid’s dam ranges fall under 60 per cent.

Regardless of climate forecasters previously predicting a wet summer, the grid was sitting at 57.1 per cent on Tuesday, with solely 19 days left of summer season.

In December, when the dams have been at 54.9 per cent capability, budget estimates hearings were told cash had been allotted for an “preliminary start-up” of the scheme.

However Seqwater chief government Neil Brennan mentioned the state of affairs can be reassessed in 2021.

“Now we have till February-March earlier than we have to go into full restarting on the Western Hall scheme,” he informed estimates.

It can take as much as two years to completely restart the scheme, which was put into “care and upkeep mode” in 2013.

The water grid must hit 40 per cent earlier than Seqwater requested the Water Minister to log out on including recycled water to the ingesting provide.

Water Minister Glenn Butcher mentioned the federal government was working with Seqwater to scale back the drain of ingesting water from Wivenhoe and Somerset dams by rising the availability of recycled water to industrial clients.

“Any choice on the usage of the Western Hall Recycled Water Scheme might be made after making an allowance for any rainfall and inflows and can contemplate group enter,” he mentioned.

Mayor Di Thorley enters a polling station during the referendum on recycled water in 2006.

Mayor Di Thorley enters a polling station through the referendum on recycled water in 2006.Credit score:Paul Harris

Mr Brennan mentioned the Bureau of Meteorology had forecast robust La Nina circumstances for south-east Queensland over summer season, which was historically related to higher-than-average rainfall.

“This outlook suggests it’s prudent to attend till the tip of summer season earlier than contemplating the restart of the remaining capability of the Western Hall Recycled Water Scheme.”

Mr Brennan mentioned the scheme was not presently producing ingesting water however may very well be restarted as required as a part of its drought response.


“Whereas the Drought Response Plan units triggers for motion, the plan is meant to be adaptive permitting selections to be made in response to circumstances on the time,” he mentioned.

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